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Re: Bug#203498: ITP: decss -- utility for stripping CSS tags from an HTML page.


On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 12:01:29PM -0500, Steve Langasek wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 12:48:55PM -0400, Jim Penny wrote:
> > On Wed, 30 Jul 2003 11:38:12 -0500
> > Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> wrote:
> > 
> > > On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 05:56:32PM +0200, Emile van Bergen wrote:
> > > 
> > > > >    I object to this ITP. Not very strongly, but I still object.
> > > 
> > > > I think it's a wonderful idea to have a decss package in Debian. If
> > > > Debian cannot distribute the decss that allows Debian users to view
> > > > DVD movies (yet), then distributing this one is a good alternative,
> > > > I'd say.
> > > You're clearly quite mad.  Regardless of whether this script is
> > > trivial to implement, it's not something anyone should be encouraged
> > > to actually*use*.  CSS is the *best* feature of the HTML4 standard. 
> > > Why would anyone in their right mind wish to strip nearly all the
> > > logical structure markup out of a document?
> > Uhh, it is to tweak the international copyright cartel, and the RIAA in
> > particular.  They have written "cease and desist" letters to anyone who
> > has a file names deCSS on their system.  This is an attempt to make such
> > a filename so common that these letters are pointless, and possibly
> > evidence of illegal activity.
> If the intent is *only* as a political tool, I would agree that this
> decss program achieves its aims fairly effectively; but it is in no way
> a useful piece of *software*, which is what Emile seems to be arguing by
> disagreeing that it's trivial to implement.  The question then is
> whether we want to include programs in Debian which are useful only as
> something other than software.

I'm not arguing that it isn't almost trivial, I'm arguing that it's
non-trivial enough to put in a shell script (at least I would if I'd be
performing the operation regularly).

Whether it deserves a Debian package has little to do with that, of

It's much more useful as a political tool if it is at least somewhat
useful as a software tool. A file containing some output of /dev/random
called decss would be less effective.

I see packaging as a good protest that we cannot package the real decss,
which would definitely be a candidate for a debian package, as it is
required to watch DVDs using DFSG-free software.

As soon as we can package the real thing, we should probably rename the
HTML/CSS decss as decss-html and release the real decss using a new

The principle is horrible, but in this case I think the confusion would
be minimal. 



E-Advies - Emile van Bergen           emile@e-advies.nl      
tel. +31 (0)70 3906153           http://www.e-advies.nl    

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